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The Last Don [Paperback]

Mario Puzo
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Book Description

7 July 1997
Don Domenico, head of the last great Mafia family, the Clericuzio, moves to Hollywood to begin a new life. His past evil and savagery is to catch up with him. It is also to catch up with successive generations, as his grandchildren struggle to escape the family's dark and menacing past.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow Books Ltd; New edition edition (7 July 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749310901
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749310905
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 11 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,790,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"This is a story of love, lust, loyalty and betrayal. It reeks of violence and cynicism. It is about a world without integrity where everybody has a price ... and it is written with such pace and conviction that it is totally believable" (The Mail on Sunday)

"All of Mr Puzo's formidable storytelling talents are on display... a big, fast-paced tale" (New York Times Book Review)

"The Last Don is a return to the pure mythic storytelling form that made The Godfather one of the bestselling novels ever" (The Sunday Times) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

'The Last Don is a return to the pure mythic storytelling form that made The Godfather one of the bestselling novels ever' Sunday Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A master storyteller at his very best 20 Jan 2003
'The Last Don' tells the story of the Clericuzo family - the last great Mafia family. The Don wants his family to escape the life of crime and move into legitimate business. It might not sound like the most thrilling story outline you've ever heard and indeed, you may think you've heard it all before; you'd be wrong.
Puzo has the knack for making the reader care about immoral characters and there is no better writer than Puzo when it comes to creating a seedy underworld environment. Anyone who has read 'The Godfather' will be aware of Puzo's uncanny knack of changing the pace of a novel to keep the reader on their toes. Puzo has honed that skill to perfection in this novel, almost to the point where the reader thinks he is trying to catch them out. There are several surprises in store for the reader in 'The Last Don', none of which I will spoil for you here.
It's a story of lust, love, loyalty, betrayal and above all, power. Commonly for Puzo, the characters have a price and little integrity, often however, this just makes them more interesting. At no point during his distinguished career did Puzo ever create a cast of characters as thrilling as in 'The Last Don' - and yes, that includes 'The Godfather'.
'The Last Don' is the best novel I have ever read. That is not hyperbole - it is too good for words. You absolutely must read this book.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the godfathers more talented sibling. 15 Dec 2002
By A Customer
as with most fans of puzo under the age of 30, i was first exposed to his work by the godfather movies, of which i am a fanatic devotee; so after i had read the novel i searched for other titles by the same author. to date the only one i've read is 'the last don'. now what i'm about to say may be controvertial (who am i kidding); 'the last don' is a better novel than 'the godfather'.
yes i know that 'the godfather' has this cult status, 'but the last don' is just.....well, better. for a start, it doesn't have a ridiculous deviation in the middle of the story about a woman having her nether regions 'altered', those of you that have read 'the godfather' will know what i mean. the superiority of 'the last don' doesn't end there, the characters are better written and, as a result, you become genuinely attatched to them. so when one of your favorite mobsters is 'clipped', you actually miss them and mourn along side the relatives.
in closing, if you enjoy 'goodfellas', 'donnie brasco' or even 'analyze this' you have to read this book, don't choose 'the godfather', just move your hand a little to the right and choose the more talented sibling; 'the last don'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not great. 16 May 2007
Having read most of Puzo's other works and being an avid fan of the mafia genre, I found this book to be rather disappointing, but entertaining non-the-less.

My grievances are as follows:

The main story is very linear and overshadowed by pointless sub-plots.

The characters are shallow, especially the entire Clericuzo family.

Puzo's writing style is rather weak due to his inadequate descriptions and superfluous use of certain words (such as vivacious, amiable). Also, his style lacks the poignancy of his previous work.

Don't get me wrong, it's an interesting and entertaining book, but falls way short of greatness due to the above issues.

I won't recommend you buying this book, but rather you lend it from a library or friend before deciding to buy it. If you're looking for a good mafia novel, try the classic Godfather or his best work, The Sicilian.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I love it 25 Jun 2001
The amazing thing with Mario Puzo is the way that he makes the reader like the mafia...with The Last Don, it is exactly this...the description and feelings for these blood thirsty,power hungry men is something again. I won't go into the story apart from saying that you really must read this is truely a magical world when you have power but when you don't then you are certainly just waiting to be crushed by the next one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than "The Godfather" 23 Jun 2006
When i read "The Godfather" after watching the film versions i have to admit i thought that there could be few better books but then i read "The Last Don". This is the stroy of the Clericuzo family and their struggles to become legitimate. The characters are more believable than "The Godfather" and in general unlike the "The Godfather" which has more than one useless storyline (Lucy Mancini) all the storylines link together. And while you might not want to read the Johnny Fontane and Lucy Mancini stroylines again when you read the book all the way through in "The Last Don" you always like to read every part of the book. If you want to see the high point of Puzo's writing read "The Last Don".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a good read 27 Aug 2007
By The Don
enjoyed the book if you are a mafia fan then i would give this book a go.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Comparisons to Godfather are inevitable 2 Jan 2007
By Jay
The Last Don is a very detailed account of a mafia family. It is very interesting with everything that happens in the book; crime, sex, scandal, love, death, kidnapping, gambling.

This is not Puzo at his finest but the book is definitely interesting if you like mafia stories.

The young Don has to make many decisions while trying to capture the heart of a beautiful movie star.

Comparisons to Godfather are inevitable but even though its a notch below, it's worth the read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 4 days ago by Pat Soffe
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good book
Published 16 days ago by J Mckenna
5.0 out of 5 stars Movie please
Better than the Godfather.
Why isn't this a film?
Published 1 month ago by Mrs S J Baker
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I've ever
I read Praticia Cornwall, Jo Nesbo, Michael Connolly, ... And I've read them through the years...
Someone that likes thrillers that are well written must read this ... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Chloe
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling read.
Great read. Gives insight to way society can be corrupted by bribery, fear an threats of violence. Although fiction, it is easy to relate it to fact and to recognise characters we... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Thomas Kweeday
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Loved this book, in fact I loved all three of the books. Would recommend to friends. It's a must read
Published 5 months ago by carmen
4.0 out of 5 stars Chronicle or novel?
Fantastic account of how the world of movies really used to work and what is really behind the patinated world of top class actors (producers, writers, make up artists, ecc.... Read more
Published 9 months ago by alessandra castellani
4.0 out of 5 stars WOULD RECOMMEND
I am quite enjoying this story, I like a good book at bedtime & I would recommend this book to anyone who is even remotely interested in the Mafia .
Published 9 months ago by christine briggs
3.0 out of 5 stars Cannot compare
Comparisons to the Godfather are inevitable. The Last Don isn't quite as good. Perhaps because it is set in a more contemporary era and the charm of the Corleone saga lay in it's... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Bianca White
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great
I really enjoyed most of this book. I thought it was well written and and engrossing narrative.

It lost one star because quite simply it's not as good as The Godfather... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Bearski
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